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alexsmith

Shawn Siegele made the case for Alex Smith as your fantasy QB back in February. More recently we’ve touted Smith as a better option than Philip Rivers.

Here’s some more table-pounding for Alex Smith.

Check out Smith’s recent ADP in 12 team leagues, courtesy Fantasy Football Calculator.

Pos
Rank
Pick Name Pos Team Bye Overall Std.
Dev
High Low Times
Drafted
1 3.05 Aaron Rodgers QB GB 4 28.6 9.1 1.04 5.02 1270
2 3.09 Drew Brees QB NO 7 32.9 8.6 1.10 5.06 1207
3 4.09 Peyton Manning QB DEN 9 44.5 7.4 3.01 6.05 1137
4 5.06 Cam Newton QB CAR 4 54.1 8.2 3.08 7.08 1046
5 6.01 Tom Brady QB NE 10 61.3 8.5 4.03 8.04 957
6 6.03 Matt Ryan QB ATL 6 63.0 7.5 4.07 8.07 1037
7 6.10 Matthew Stafford QB DET 9 70.3 7.3 5.03 9.03 972
8 7.04 Colin Kaepernick QB SF 9 76.2 9.5 5.03 10.07 901
9 7.07 Robert Griffin QB WAS 5 78.8 9.3 5.06 9.09 941
10 7.10 Russell Wilson QB SEA 12 81.5 9.4 5.09 10.04 1009
11 7.12 Andrew Luck QB IND 8 84.4 9.4 5.11 10.08 1074
12 8.03 Tony Romo QB DAL 11 87.3 9.7 6.01 11.02 1046
13 9.06 Eli Manning QB NYG 9 101.9 10.9 7.01 12.05 641
14 10.10 Michael Vick QB PHI 12 117.8 13.0 7.12 12.12 325
15 11.01 Andy Dalton QB CIN 12 121.5 11.3 8.08 13.12 496
16 11.06 Ben Roethlisberger QB PIT 5 125.6 11.5 8.11 14.02 436
17 11.10 Jay Cutler QB CHI 8 129.6 12.0 9.02 15.11 393
18 12.03 Joe Flacco QB BAL 8 135.0 12.6 9.06 15.10 301
19 12.10 Philip Rivers QB SD 8 141.8 11.7 10.03 15.05 326
20 12.12 Carson Palmer QB ARI 9 143.5 11.6 10.05 15.09 413
21 13.01 Tim Tebow QB NE 10 144.9 46.6 3.02 15.12 26
22 13.04 Sam Bradford QB STL 11 148.0 12.6 10.07 15.11 460
23 13.08 Josh Freeman QB TB 5 152.1 12.3 10.12 15.12 428
24 13.11 Matt Schaub QB HOU 8 154.9 12.9 11.01 15.12 359
25 14.01 Ryan Tannehill QB MIA 6 156.7 13.9 10.12 15.12 378
26 14.06 Alex Smith QB KC 10 162.1 11.6 11.11 15.12 212
27 14.07 EJ Manuel QB BUF 12 162.8 15.9 11.01 15.11 29
28 14.12 Geno Smith QB NYJ 10 168.0 16.6 11.04 15.12 24

Yup, that’s him all the way down there at 26th overall. Tim Tebow is being drafted ahead of him (although on a small number of mocks). Also going before Smith are Philip Rivers and Michael Vick, and they may not be fantasy relevant anymore.

So why should we pay attention to Alex Smith? We’ve liked Alex Smith around here for months now. Shawn Siegele made the case for Alex Smith as your fantasy QB back in February. More recently he’s touted Alex Smith as someone to build your QB strategy around. Then there’s this:

Alex Smith averaged 0.53 FP per pass attempt in his last 26 full games on 27.8 PA per game. Andy Reid’s PHI teams have averaged 36.6 PA.

— John Paulsen (@4for4_John) July 18, 2013

When I saw this tweet last night, my first thought was “mmm, potato chips.” But my second thought was “whoa, maybe we’re still underestimating him.”

So I came up with the following table. It shows three fantasy point per attempt rates for Alex Smith: his career average (.52), his average over the past four seasons (.6), and his average from last year (.72). Then it shows three different attempt per game scenarios: one where his attempts/game match his career average, one where his attempts/game match Andy Reid’s average over the past four seasons, and a compromise showing the average of Smith’s career and Reid’s four year QB attempts/game. Projected fantasy points/game based on 6 points/TD.

0.52 FP/Att 0.6 FP/Att .72 FP/Att
28.69 Smith Career Att/G 14.92 17.21 20.94
32.21 Ave Att/G 16.75 19.32 23.58
35.72 Reid Att/G 18.57 21.43 26.08

Smith probably won’t finish 2013 as the second best fantasy QB. But it seems likely he could finish as a startable QB1, which is a good return for a 14th round draft pick. Comparing this “Medium” projection to the mid-level projections of other likely QB starters using the QB Similarity App, Smith projects to come in at QB10.  And if Smith generates his four-year average of 0.6 fantasy points/attempt and the Chiefs throws it 35 times a game, like Reid did in Philly? Smith’s mid-level projection of 21.43 points/game would put him at QB2 vs. all other QBs mid-level projections in our similarity app.

But we’ll stay somewhat conservative and just focus on that middle projection: The Chiefs average 32 pass attempts/game or so, and Smith performs at his four year average rate of 0.6 fantasy points/attempt. That’s 19.32 fantasy points/game, people. Personally, I expect Reid’s Chiefs to throw the ball a lot, just like the Eagles did. Remember, Reid was chucking it 35 times a game with Vick, Kolb, Foles, and end of the line McNabb at QB.

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